Danbury Hospital Parking Garage (Vertical Addition)
Hospital Parking Expansion Crisis Solved with Precast!
Resolving parking issues is the first phase of the huge expansion planned for Danbury Hospital in Danbury, CT. The existing hospital campus is not only adding rooms, but an improved emergency center and neonatal center as well. Before the main hospital campus work can begin, doctors, patients and staff have to have a safe and close place to park and access to the expanded hospital campus.
The expanded parking includes adding a forth level to the existing Blue Garage with 207 parking spaces and adding an addition to the West End Garage with 98 parking spaces. The new level to the Blue Garage, however, could not commence until the structure, built in the 1980’s, was brought up to current seismic code.
The Design-Assist approach used for this project brings together the Engineer of Record, Desman Associates, CT; the precaster, Blakeslee Prestress, CT; the Architect, S/L/A/M Collaborative, CT; and the contractor, Gilbane Building Company, CT, early in the process. Thomas Basile, R/A, at Desman Associates, utilizes the Design-Assist method because it “speeds up the process and timeline of construction since the precast manufacturing can begin earlier than if a traditional Design/Bid format was used and secondly, details for the project concerning the precast can be worked out between the precaster and engineer early on so that the most economical and efficient production methods are used for the project.” This approach would aid in resolving the challenge of bringing the existing Blue Garage up to seismic code.
According to John Hawley from Gilbane Company, “the existing garage needed to be completely seismically upgraded, and the interior and perimeter sheer walls added. 100 ton steel mini-piles needed to be drilled into the rock beneath the garage to upgrade the existing footings to carry the new shear walls.” The team also had a massive design challenge when they discovered that the columns of the existing structure had ‘drifted’ out of plumb over the years. Hawley also explains that “3-D modeling was used to analyze the new columns and spandrels being added to the out-of-plumb columns to ‘correct’ the conditions and assure the design and aesthetic tolerances could be maintained.” Precast concrete’s design flexibility allows for these structural adjustments to be made without altering the aesthetics of the building.
Precast concrete is a fast and efficient way to add parking convenience to any facility. By adding to the existing parking structures, acres of parking lot space can be repurposed for the hospital building expansion. Long expanses of open area are typical of precast concrete parking garages making for more visibility and security for those walking to and from your car.
Erecting precast concrete garages is similar to watching giant Legos being assembled. In other words the building process is fun to witness and daily progress is clearly visible. Both garages will be completed in early 2012 ending the turmoil for employees currently being bussed to and from parking areas while the garages and entrance roads are expanded and completed.
The remaining hospital additions are scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014. Danbury Hospital’s expansion and its additional parking will prove to be a welcome addition to the growing community and those who work there.
Contract Awarded to Blakeslee: February 2, 2011
Start Precast Production:July 5, 2011
Complete Precast Production: September 2, 2011
Project completion & occupancy (approx.): September 30, 2011
Approximately 62,972 sf of supported structured area.
West End Precast Garage Addition –
Approximately 46,231 sf of supported structured area.
1, (Approximately 207 spaces).
West End Precast Garage Addition –
3, (Approximately 98 spaces).
Structural Precast Elements:
• 159 Double Tees
• 18 Girders
• 56 Columns
• 45 Shear Walls
• 82 Spandrels
• 10 Stairs
• 22 Solid Slabs
• 64 Wall Panels